HIV Testing May Soon Be Routine For Millions Of Americans

By: Julie Maloney
By: Julie Maloney

HIV testing may soon be routine for millions of americans.

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an estimated 250-thousand americans have the infectious disease and don't know it.

WYMT spoke with medical professionals in eastern Kentucky who think that offering the test to everyone is a good idea.

"It's something that you can catch early and if you catch early, it's a lot less expensive to treat HIV than AIDS, Kim Gayheart said.

Kim Gayheart says nearly one-quarter million of americans have HIV and don't know it.

To increase early detection and prevent transmission of the virus federal officials are asking that all americans ages 13 to 64 be offered the test for HIV.

"It's voluntary. So whenever a patient comes in, you can recommend that that be part of their testing and they have the option whether or not to choose to do that," Gayheart said.

If implemented, Gayheart says she will be required to offer the testing to patients during each hospital or clinic visit.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone take the test at least once and it will cost about 12-dollars each time.

"Many eastern kentuckians agree with medical professionals and say they would be tested for the HIV virus when they visit their doctor because they say it's better to be safe than sorry," Gayheart said.

"I think it's a good idea because nobody really knows about the virus until they're faced with it," Jordan Williams said.

Judy Eversole is a grandmother and agrees with early testing.

She says she would rather her granddaughter be tested sooner than later so the virus isn't something that would cut her life short.

The CDC says patients would be allowed to decline the testing and no one should be tested without their knowledge.


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